I am so excited. But also furious.
In June, two very good female friends of mine are getting married. To each other, so there's no confusion. It's a beach ceremony -- Nik is ex-navy, and to say that she loves the water is an understatement. Cut that girl and she bleeds saltwater.
So here's where I am excited: Karen and Nik have asked me to be their celebrant.
My first reaction was: "What? Me? WHAT?"
My second was: "But you know I'm not actually a celebrant, right?"
And that's where the furious comes in, because it's not a legal wedding. The invitations are calling it a wedding, we're all calling it a wedding, but it's not. It's an informal statement of commitment that they're making in front of their friends and family. It is not a legal wedding, and it's not a legal marriage.
And why the hell not?
A 2012 poll found that approximately 65% of Australians support marriage equality. 53% of Christians support it. And 52% of Coalition voters support it - that's our conservatives, to overseas readers. I have no doubt the number would be much higher in leftwing voters. And these numbers are on the up and up. A few States have brought in their own recognition of same sex unions (because we can't use the M-word, oh my!) but the Federal government has so far refused to budge.
So why is that?
We currently have a leftwing government. Our Prime Minister is an unmarried woman who lives in sin with the First Bloke (not his actual title). To hear her spruik about "traditional families" is watching an exercise in hypocrisy. Julia, I want to tell her, the Christians over there on the far right are beyond appeasement. They already think you're a communist and a fallen woman, so why stop pandering to their hysteria over teh gays?
We have openly gay politicians. Who live with their long term partners. And have children. And then publicly stand up and say, barefaced, that they believe a marriage should be between a man and a woman. Sometimes they make me angrier than the bigots. At least a bigot isn't a hypocrite.
Now, I don't care what the church's position is -- any church. Remember the Enlightenment? Remember the separation of Church and State? Yeah, that was great. Let's go back to that. If a gay couple want to get married in a Catholic cathedral, then that's a different fight. But if they want to get married at the courthouse, in the park, or on the beach, and the majority of Australians support that, then isn't it long past overdue?
So in June I'll be standing on a beach conducting an unofficial commitment ceremony, and I will be happy and delighted and honoured (and nervous!) to do so. But a part of me will wish I was in the audience instead, and that it was a real celebrant standing up in front of my friends.